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Top 5 Telltale signs of Hard Water

Updated on April 30, 2013

Know the damage that is being done to your home.

When looking for methods of home improvement, you don't have to look much further than what is coming out of your faucet.

The majority of us have heard of hard water, some of you may be looking at the title with a good dose of skepticism. But have you taken the time to look up what hard water really is, and the avoidable damage that it's doing to your home every day.

For those of you that haven't heard of hard water before, it's just a way of saying that there are much higher than normal levels of unwanted minerals in the water supply. These minerals are ionized Magnesium and Calcium salts. They get into tap water by leeching from mineral deposits in groundwater, and the alternative to hard water is, you guessed it, soft water.
Soft water is devoid of high mineral concentrations, making it much more compatible with home appliances and plumbing systems.

The hardness of tap water is measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L);

Soft: 0 - 60 mg/L

Moderately hard: 61 - 120 mg/L

Hard: 121 - 180 mg/L

Very Hard- 180 mg/L

The optimum level for water hardness in the 0 - 60 mg/L, and in some areas of the US levels of well over 500 mg/L have been recorded!

Good indicators can be helpful when figuring out how hard your home water supply is. Here are the top 5 ways that I can tell if the you receive is damaging your home, your clothes and even your hair and skin.

1. One of the easiest ways to tell that your water is too hard is the damage it does the things in your house you use to eat with- your dishes, glasses and cutlery. The damage comes from mineral particles present in hard water that are highly abrasive and can cause stains, fogginess in glasses and spots to form that won't go away, even after thoroughly drying.
This is common with glasses from your kitchen, and can be even more glaring when it affects the windows of your home after repetitive washing using hard water.

2. One of the areas that can be the most expensive to deal with is your plumbing system. Showers, bathtubs and faucets can all develop of build-up of solidified minerals deposits (or "scale"), and this can be unsightly. But an even bigger problem is when boilers and plumbing systems that have pumped hard water through them long term, have clogged and become less effective at passing the water supply through them.
One of the most common problems people see relating to hard water usage is defective plumbing.

3. Over-mineralization can cause serious problems in your home, but one reason that may really affect the way you see hard water more than any other is itchy dry skin, and dull unmanageable hair. Because of elevated levels of Calcium and Magnesium salts in the water the effectiveness of soaps and shampoos to cleanse is drastically reduced, and this combination forms a salt precipitate that binds into your hair.

4. The effects of hard water on clothes and other fabrics are clear to see. White colored clothes gain a certain grayish hue, other colors become faded and seem less vibrant than they once were. As well as the clothes looking worse they can feel scratchy or dingy, and washing powders designed to counteract this can only do so much.

5. If you've ever owned or swam in a pool that had a cloudy, murky look to it there is every chance the culprit was none other than the hardness of the water. Higher than desired levels of Calcium salts can even cause issues with pool filtration, and permanent scaling around the inside of the pool.

What can be done to get rid of hard water at home? Well, there are products available on the market that can be added to water after it's left the pipes to counteract the high level of minerals. They're quick and relatively easy, but they're a short term solution that will need to be re-bought constantly to get rid of the problem.

A water softener can be a more long term solution to hard water issues that will clean the water supply before it has a negative effect on your home.

They are based upon technologies that use a type of resin that is incredibly efficient in removing the unwanted minerals from drinking and bathing water.

Further information about the benefits of water softening is readily available online, and can outline more about why damage is done to your home and appliances.


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